'I've started thinking about my wishes for my body after I die'

"I don't want to be a name on a piece of stone in the cemetery, my burial site overgrown and neglected."

When Uncle Freddy died, there was much consternation within the family as to what to do with his body. It turned out that over the years Uncle Freddy had expressed different things to different members of the family.

As a single man, he’d been a bit eccentric. He loved model trains and had his back shed full of train tracks going this way and that and his own version of a community with imitation parks and gardens, shops and houses. It was quite the sight to see.

Towards the end, he had become doddery, and my cousin Miles said Uncle Freddy had told him he wanted to be buried next to his brother Charles in the local cemetery.

At the same time, my Aunt June spoke up stating he’d told her he wanted to be cremated and his ashes carried round on his trains in the back shed before we scattered in his back yard. Did I mention he was a tad eccentric?

The whole incident got me thinking about what I would want to be done with my body upon death. As a result, I’ve told my kids I wish to be cremated. I’ve made this decision as I’ve long thought cemeteries to be such sad places.

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We erect lasting memorials to our loved ones because we want to show how much we loved and cared about them and I think that is a worthy thing to do. The cemetery does provide us with a place to go and remember the person we miss the most.

But over time people die as well, they lose interest, the graves become neglected, and in the main forgotten.

Once a year I visit my parents grave, on Mother’s Day and when I am gone, I doubt anyone will go there.

So, for me, I don’t want to be a name on a piece of stone in the cemetery, my burial site overgrown and neglected.

For me, my kids and maybe my grandkids are the ones who will remember me the most. I have told them they can remember and honour me in their own way. It could be a photo on the wall, a plant they took from my garden, even some memento from the house. I know my kids have taken something from here to remember their grandfather.

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I was out with friends recently and asked them the question about what they would like done with their bodies upon death. It wasn’t something they had thought about or wanted to. But at some stage, I think they should tell their kids what they would like done.

So, for you what decisions have you made? Burial or Cremation?

One thing for sure is that when it all happens, you won’t be in any position to argue or complain.

Have you given much thought to what you want to happen to your body after death?